The Voice of the Holy Spirit Is the Call to Atonement

“The Holy Spirit is the Christ Mind which is aware of the knowledge that lies beyond perception. He came into being with the separation as a protection, inspiring the Atonement principle at the same time. Before that there was no need for healing, for no one was comfortless. The Voice of the Holy Spirit is the Call to Atonement, or the restoration of the integrity of the mind. When the Atonement is complete and the whole Sonship is healed there will be no Call to return. (T-5.I.5)”

The Atonement is here seen as the restoration of the integrity of the mind. Our minds have lost their intent at the moment of our creation, having fallen (in illusion) into separation from God. This quotation emphasizes that God created the Holy Spirit to bring us back home. The Holy Spirit, being part of the Trinity, is of God as well as of His Son, the Christ Mind. Atonement, carried out in part by the Holy Spirit, will return us to our right minds.

We need a return to right thinking very badly. We need to realize that we are not, in the egoic frame of mind, thinking clearly at all. We are befuddled, and our confused thinking makes chaos in the world that surrounds us. This chaos needs to end.

When the Atonement is complete, when all minds everywhere have been returned to God and separation has ended, the purpose of the Holy Spirit will have been served. Our minds will once again have integrity, creating as co-creators with God—our real purpose.

No longer will we be lost in a miserable world. We will have returned to our Maker, separation having been healed, dreams and illusions having disappeared into the mists that made them.

Dealing with Our Resistance, by Ivor Sowton

First of all, I want to thank Celia Hales so much for her wonderful post of 11/16/14, entitled “Self-Doubt Is the Only Thing that Will Not Sustain Christ-consciousness.”. If you haven’t seen it yet, please check it out on her blog, Miracles Each Day. She works with a key quote from Jesus in A Course of Love’s Treatise on the New, on trusting the way of the New that Jesus offers us. We deliberately turn our backs on the self-doubt that would have us choose instead the old, the ego thought system we have employed in the past.

I know what she is speaking of is true; I do trust Jesus on this. And you the reader may well want to go to her post and stop reading this one! That’s fine and may be just right for you!

This post is on our resistance to this wonderful spiritual path. It is unlikely to be a popular topic, but I put it forth because I find it is quite relevant for myself and, I think, for many of us.

You know the times when you wake up sad and low and may want to feel the Peace of God for sure, but do not seem to be able to access it at all? What to do at such times? Or when you have been studying these teachings diligently and have really been feeling more peace and joy and then WHAM–something really bad or frightening comes up big time. What do you do then? Or when you, after having really made the spiritual effort for some time, now feel the onset of the doldrums, like an old sailing ship suddenly dead in the water because the wind has totally died down. What do you do then? Or you have been making slow but steady progress, and all of a sudden a big compulsion comes up really strong. What do you do then?

So we’re speaking of resistance to our path, and how to deal with it. Celia’s keynote quote from Jesus is this one, from ACOL, Treatise on the New, 12.19: “But I ask you to try to remember to turn to the new rather than the old each time you think you are experiencing uncertainty or lack.”

A good place to start in dealing with our resistance, then, is to try to interface with our teachings for timely and relevant help in our current perceived distress. Our teachings are literally offering us a new way to deal with past patterns of inertia–our resistance.

Jesus, in both A Course of Love and A Course in Miracles, often recommends an unguarded sharing of our troubles with him, just as they come up. Try to go to an image of Jesus or Mary or whoever in your heart and ask for help right now. Not in a melodramatic way or a demanding way, but instead just assuming that he or she or it does really mean it when they assure us of their eternal love for us. We might start by praying: “Dear____, I know that you are here with me. Guide Thou my thoughts and feelings now as I negotiate this.”

ACIM teacher Jacob Glass is very helpful for me in my times of travail, because he seems to normalize feelings of distress and inadequacy as they come up in our spiritual lives.

Jacob encourages us to just try and be steady, meeting our commitments, rain or shine. Our society demands steadiness, showing up for work however we might be feeling emotionally, parenting the kids evenly, even when we’re under the weather. There’s a real sustaining wisdom in this, I think. Go for the B+ day every day. A+ days will happen, but we’re setting ourselves up for failure if we demand this of ourselves every day. It’s like the Zen Buddhist credo: “Just sit zazen (Zen meditation). Good day, just sit zazen. Bad day, just sit zazen.” Thus we maintain our steady forward momentum, not always romantically rosy, but long-term solid and dependable. It’s choosing the New, just as Jesus is saying here, by not over-reacting to the seemingly negative whatever of the present. Just trying to trust God and keep on keeping on.

The ACIM/ACOL community recently physically lost a real luminary in Ken Wapnik, PhD, who was the close confidant of Helen Schucman, PhD, scribe of A Course in Miracles. Ken has been an amazingly dynamic teacher of this path ever since then until his transition at Christmas time last year. Luckily his tremendous wisdom lives on in a large body of publications and recordings, and the Foundation for A Course in Miracles (FACIM) that he and his wife Gloria set up remains strong and vibrant (check it out online). Ken often said that psychology can really help us by instilling a healthy respect for the devious craftiness of our egos! He asks us to be really honest in asking ourselves– do we REALLY want to be done with separative ego consciousness forever? Or were we actually angling for better “position” as a more sophisticated, spiritual, “superior” ego? Touche!

Ken counseled a lot of self-forgiveness as we come to discover just how into self-sabotaging our egos can be!

It’s like we are cruising along fair to middling and then we suddenly and apparently deliberately “shoot ourselves in the foot”, saying or doing something outlandish that can really upset us and those around us! Why on earth would we do such a thing!? Simply because the ego needs suffering to maintain separateness–that’s why! Eckhart Tolle calls this our “pain body,” and we all have one, or we wouldn’t be here!

Jesus in ACOL states that our misguided choice for suffering is what went wrong with our experiment in physicality. In and of itself, to choose a physical self as an expression of our Divine Self “would be perfectly within the Laws of God, or Love”. But we got scared, it seems, and made up a lot of “laws of man” or “laws of survival” in our attempt to maintain an adolescent kind of individuality, which we thought we wanted. Now, though, as the prodigal sons and daughters returning to our eternal Home, we can start to let all those lesser laws go in favor of God’s, which alone can offer all the peace and joy that we really want.
So we needn’t be surprised when our ego acts up. We might even think of it as a little child, in need of our reassurance that everything will be all right.
Resistance, then, is actually part of our path. Part of our letting go. Part of our deliberately turning to the New.

“This is not such a frightening task. Let fear go and walk with me now.” (Jesus speaking to you and me personally in the Second Treatise of ACOL, 13.6)

A Miracle is the Expression of Atonement

“I have emphasized that the miracle, or the expression of Atonement, is always a sign of respect from the worthy to the worthy. The recognition of this worth is re-established by the Atonement. It is obvious, then, that when you are afraid, you have placed yourself in a position where you need Atonement. You have done something loveless, having chosen without love. This is precisely the situation for which the Atonement was offered. (T-2.VI.8)”

Miracles are expressions of Atonement between worthy people. You, to whom I offer a miracle that Jesus prompts, are just as worthy as you, who receives that miracle. Each and every one of us are worthy, with recognition of our worthiness being re-established by the Atonement. God grants our worthiness to us; elsewhere we learn that nothing that we do or think or make establishes our worthiness. We are children of God, and that is why the miracle heals us, the miracle as an expression of Atonement, and a reaching out from the worthy to the worthy.

What but a divine Source could have developed such a fabulous instrument of healing? When we are afraid, we have done something loveless, having chosen without love? And so we need to recognize that the Atonement has been created for us in just that situation. The ego, as a faulty part of our view of ourselves, always makes us afraid. The ego, being empty of love for us, its host, always prompts us to say and to do loveless things. When we are free of the ego, even for a moment, we will be freed to accept the solution of the Atonement to get us out of this fearful state.

Jesus won’t come between our thinking, even our faulty thinking, and its results. He will help, though, in the conditions that brought the fear about. And saying and doing loveless things are instances of what brings about fear. Do we not have powerful incentives to ask to do and say the loving thing always? Even in the fact of provocation?

So see miracles as expressions of Atonement, for miracles thus become another example of the definition of Atonement. And miracles are at the center of the message of forgiveness which A Course in Miracles brings to us.

Perfect Love Is the Atonement

“Know first that this is fear.
Fear arises from lack of love.
The only remedy for lack of love is perfect love.
Perfect love is the Atonement. (T-2.VI.7)”

This logical phrasing, a syllogism, is characteristic of Jesus.

We first must come to understand that we are motivated by our desire to release fear. And when we learn that fear arises from a lack of love, we are motivated to increase the love in our lives.

How do we do that? We want to. It is that simple. Then we take steps to remove the barriers to love that we find on a constant basis—retaliation from attack, outright attack, resentment, anger. When we want the perfect love that will remedy all these ills, we are primed for reaching out to the Atonement.

The Atonement is the perfect lesson in which love is demonstrated.

It is the undoing of what never actually happened, but it is an experience of which all of us partake. We do not offer defense when confronted with attack. We allow ourselves to be totally defenseless. This will not, as we fear, mean that other people will necessarily walk all over us. Instead, we become stronger, and our strength of will sets up an invisible shield that protects from attack.

Of course, we are not meant to be self-sacrificing to the extent that we countenance violence against ourselves. But we can remove ourselves from the encounter. This is most effective when we really do “want” to stay because we are bent on retaliation.

“Perfect love is the Atonement.” Of course! This is what Jesus came to do, years ago. And we will see, as we proceed, that this Atonement, and Jesus’s place in it, was established by the resurrection, symbol of eternal love, not the crucifixion (which all of us have, at one point or another, been led to believe).

ATONEMENT IN A COURSE IN MIRACLES: Definition, Purpose, Acceptance

Introduction

Chapter 1: How A Course in Miracles Defines Atonement

Chapter 2: The Purpose of Atonement

Chapter 3: Accepting Atonement for One’s Self

Chapter 4: Atonement and Healing

Chapter 5: Jesus’s Role in Atonement

Looking Ahead

—–

INTRODUCTION

One of the most frequently read posts on my blog is the one on the meaning of the Atonement. Given that interest, I thought it helpful to my readers to make a study of the Atonement, as presented in A Course in Miracles, and post that study on the web.

I used my kindle (an amazon product) to search A Course in Miracles in its entirety on the word “atonement.” There were 266 instances of the word (or some variant of it, such as “atoning”). I studied these 266 and selected those that I felt to be most illustrative of the meaning of atonement, without choosing those that were repetitive. This gave me a total of 64 quotations from which this series of postings has been derived.

The format is akin to my usual blog. I reproduce the quotations in various categories, and then write meditations based on these quotations.

We begin with the definition of Atonement.

—–

CHAPTER 1: HOW A COURSE IN MIRACLES DEFINES ATONEMENT

Atoning Means Undoing

“’Atoning’ means ‘undoing.’ The undoing of fear is an essential part of the Atonement value of miracles. (T-1.I.26)

So we need to keep in mind, whenever the concept of Atonement seems difficult for us to wrap about minds around, that Atoning means “undoing.”

We are seeking to undo so much in the course of studying A Course in Miracles. The primary undoing that we seek is the undoing of the ego, that part of ourselves that about which we believe and that part of ourselves which has led us into imprisoned wills, wills that could not protect us from pain. The goal of ACIM is to dislodge the ego, and the way that ACIM does this is through forgiveness—forgiveness of our brother, and in forgiving our brother, we come to know that we are also forgiven ourselves. We learn that God does not forgive, because He has never condemned. Can any of us say the same? No, for our entry into the darkness of the ego has been deep and long, and we have wandered far from God’s pathway back to Him.

So Atoning does mean that we are undoing what has led us into illusions, into dreams. We are seeking our rightful place in the Kingdom of Heaven, a Kingdom that we never really left—but think that we did. And in the undoing of what never was, we are home at last.

What Will the Future Hold?

“What will the future hold? . . .Because it is the new future of a new form joined in unity and relationship, the only guarantees that are known to us is that it will be a future of love, a future without fear, a future with unlimited freedom. For what more could we ask? And what more could be asked of us? (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the New, 12.35)”

1 – Dialogues

This is a great sendoff to the third and final part of A Course of Love. The next part is the Dialogues. I have covered part of these in the 40 days and 40 nights section—see table of contents, above, and then refer to archives.

2 – Hope

In this paragraph, we easily see that there is much hope for the future, much hope and much happiness ahead.

3 – Everything

“Make no mistake that what is asked of us is everything. What is asked is our total willingness to abandon the old, our total willingness to embrace the new. But also make no mistake that what is given to us is everything. All the power of creation is released unto us. Let us begin. (The Treatises of A Course of Love: ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 12.36)”

4 – Conclusion

This is given by Jesus at the conclusion of “A Treatise on the New.” We are ready to move into the Dialogues, which are meant to be a sustained conversation with Jesus in which we are seen as equals. Unlike ACIM, he does not describe himself as our elder brother. He does not describe himself as our teacher. He is our companion on our life’s journey, and he remains there for us always.

5 – ACIM

In ACIM, we are bade to imagine that he takes our hand as we walk along, and we are told that this will be no “idle fantasy.” May we believe this promise today. We are not alone. Not only is Jesus with us (which may take a suspension of disbelief), but also mighty companions whom we don’t know on this plane (an ACIM tenet). If we knew what is available to us by way of help, we would never fear again.

6 – Give Up Fear

May we never fear again, beginning today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I feel excited about the “new” that Jesus has promised, and for which he has prepared me. May this upcoming year be a good one, and may I know that You are there for me always.

Thank you for the “Treatise on the New.” And thanks to Mari Perron for channeling this writing. May we share with our brothers and sisters, as they are ready to accept.

Amen.

The Living of Christ-consciousness in Physical Form

“This is akin to being stranded in a foreign land with none of the ways you learned how to adapt in the past being of service to you. That is how new this is, and more. But the difference is that you are not alone and that you are not in a foreign land but returned to your home of origin. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the New, 12.26)”

1 – New Era

We, here in the New, are living in a new era. It is not enough simply to think of it as the era of Christ, because all too often we think of this as an era for Jesus, as he was 2,000 years ago. He has never said anything like that in A Course of Love. He stresses that you and I are in a dialogue with him in which we are learning in new ways, but, mostly importantly of all, we know that we are learning in the best way because we are sharing with him and with our brothers and sisters.

2 – Design

“There was an overall design that ensured optimal learning and that design was known to you in the pattern of that design, a pattern that was part of the pattern of your thoughts, even after the ego came to rule your thought system. Without this pattern, the ego could have succeeded in becoming the ruler of the personal self. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the New, 12.27)”

3 – God

This quotation indicates that God Himself had a pattern for us from which we did not depart in the eons that the ego ruled. This is what is meant by the term “design.” The ego, however, was never the ruler of the personal self, because the design was not compromised. We did what we did only in illusion. God was not mocked.

4 – Christ-consciousness

“What will help you to remain doubt-free and thus fear-free and continually able to sustain Christ-consciousness, is coming to know the new design, and the new patterns that reveal the design. This new design and the new patterns. . . [will] be communicated through our continuing dialogues with one another. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the New, 12.30)

5 – Jesus

Jesus wants to have a continuing dialogue, and part of that dialogue becomes the final part of A Course of Love, 40 days and 40 nights on the mountain top with him. This section of ACOL is masterfully written to channel us toward Christ-consciousness on a sustained basis. Jesus says therein that he has no intention for us to go to the mountain top repeatedly; we can do so, but that is second best.

6 – No Idle Fantasy

We might believe that Jesus himself, who says that he is holding our hand (something that is “no idle fantasy,” according to A Course of Miracles), can dialogue with us in unique fashion to our individual needs. He does not spell out this scenario, but he hints at such a possibility, and well we might want him to react to us in ways that no proof on earth could explain. In this quotation he talks about our continuing dialogues, and it is hard to speculate what he means unless it is a personal dialogue with each of us. This new design and the new patterns are not fully explained in the final part of ACOL, and so it is not out of the realm of possibility that Jesus is here with us, supernaturally, making a real difference in our lives.

7 – Comfort

Even if we can’t come to believe this, we can recognize that to entertain such a possibility is comforting in the extreme.

8 – Teacher No Longer

“I do not have the answers that would continue to make of me a teacher and you a student. The answers to the elevation of the personal self and the living of Christ-consciousness in form are yet to be revealed and shared. This is the time that is before us. . . . (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the New, 12.32)”

9 – Resignation

This is the point in which Jesus makes clear that he is not going to be our teacher any longer. A little farther over in A Course of Love, and he “resigns” as our teacher. We are to see him as an equal in our future lives. Our personal self, if all goes well, will be sustained as the Self that is one with God. Our communication with God, which has been disrupted, will be reestablished, and we will commune easily and well. The Holy Spirit’s era is over; this is really what is pointed out in the passing of His era.

10 – Egocentric?

The time before us is hallowed ground. We don’t have to worry that to think such is egocentric. If we have come this far, we know that we don’t react as we once did to egocentric notions. Now we are heading into the future, with Jesus by our side (though no longer our teacher). The future looks bright. Sustaining Christ-consciousness is the goal that Jesus holds out to us. May we see glimpses more and more, and then may the sustainability be assured.

Dear Father/Mother,

I long for a sustained awareness of Your love, and I can have that sustained awareness in its fullness only when I have reached and sustained Christ-consciousness. Guide me day by day, hour by hour, even minute by minute, as I seek to give up the old ways and come into the New.

May this day go smoothly. May it be like a worthy pearl on a string of pearls that will never break, one day following another into greater and greater value to You. I long to be of use to You. Help me to do that without dipping into the old ways of egoic thought.

May I find the brothers and sisters with whom I can interact the best. May we share our love in a wholly good way, and in the sharing may we come to know You as well as ourselves better.

Thank You for Your blessings.

Amen.

Christ-consciousness Is Our Innate Consciousness

“Again let me remind you that we are speaking of the new. There has always been a state of consciousness that we are here calling Christ-consciousness. There has never been a sustained Christ-consciousness in form. . . . It [Christ-consciousness] is your innate consciousness, a consciousness far too vast to be learned but one easily shared by all. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the New, 12.22)

1 – Jesus

Jesus is here alluding to his recommendation that we, ourselves, assume a Self that is of form, physical form. And that we remain on earth to sustain this form, this “elevated Self of form.” Previously, many who attained this state did not long maintain the body (from A Course in Miracles). But we are encouraged, though not required, to give another possibility a chance. We are encouraged to remain in physical form on a sustained basis, exhibiting Christ-consciousness on a sustained basis, and thereby embody a new choice for all humankind.

2 – Revolutionary

This is a revolutionary bit of news. Jesus is nothing if not stirring. He also says (elsewhere) that he will not predict the future in A Course of Love, that he himself does not know what will transpire, that our future is yet to be written—and to be written by ourselves.

3 – Physical Bodies

We are strongly protective of our physical bodies. Most don’t want to end their lives prematurely, unless they are very ill or very depressed. Most don’t choose suicide, however difficult and traumatic our circumstances may be. We want to live; the instinct is very strong.

4 – ACIM

Previously, in A Course in Miracles, the intangibles were given so much sway, and we were taught in the Workbook that only beyond this world was there anything that would satisfy us. There was seen to be nothing in this world of lasting value.

5 – Material Wealth

We may still believe this about material wealth. Much of our obsession of gaining more – more – more was egoic in nature. And somewhere along the line in our searching we have come to realize that the material, regardless of how much it is, is never enough. We want something more, and we have come to realize, for readers of spiritual material, that this something is spiritual in nature.

6 – Christ-consciousness

If we could retain our physical bodies, but enjoy the happiness of an elevated mind and heart, in Christ-consciousness, perhaps there is something indeed in this suggestion of Jesus that is worth serious consideration. Time will tell if more of us do move into Christ-consciousness. We can only remove the barriers to this experience; we cannot effect it on our own. This choice, the element of timing, belongs to God Himself (according to A Course in Miracles, where this experience is called “Awakening).

7 – Elevated Self of Form

Let us consider what an elevated Self of form would do, and then let us quickly go about ridding ourselves of the selfish impediments, the attack and anger, the violence, the lack of forgiveness, etc., that are impediments to God’s action in reaching down and lifting us up. This world needs better minds and hearts to create it anew. This is what Jesus is about. This is also what we are about.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Grant me the singleness of vision to know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, what is standing in the way of Christ-consciousness on a sustained basis. May I be patient only with Your timing, but not patient at all with my foibles that are hindering Your quick action.

Help this day to be a calm influence on this world—my world—and everyone I encounter. May I take my place as one who is trying to do the right thing. May this good intention be buttressed by Your particular guidance, in whatever way You send it.

Thank You.

Amen.

You Must Share Christ-consciousness

“You, as a being joined in Christ-consciousness, must share this consciousness in order to know it. It cannot be grasped by the singular consciousness. . . .The singular consciousness would act like a computer with a full drive and reject the information or be overcome by it if such were possible. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the New, 12.23)”

1 – Sharing

We cannot only hold Christ-consciousness unless we share. Our limited minds could not contain this great gift otherwise. Overdrive for the mind.

2 – How Share?

How do we share? Any and every way. But we are repeatedly told in A Course of Love that we are not called to proselytize. We look for teachable moments, when the brother or sister of ours is ready. We never forst our understanding on another person. That would be the surest way to turn them off. Even mild statements about what one believes can be taken wrongly, if another is not open. Resist the urge to share when that sharing would be a turnoff.

3 – Speaking

But if another is open to how we are behaving now, then is the time to speak. When we reach Christ-consciousness, we will be different—most loving, most especially, but also calmer and more Self-contained. We will seem different to our nearest and dearest, and they will want to know what has happened to us. That is the time to share.

4 – Christ-consciousness

“Such is not possible, because Christ-consciousness is not available to the separated self. Christ-consciousness is the consciousness of unity for unity is what is. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the New, 12.23)”

5 – Separate from Others?

If we cut ourselves off from others, we won’t reach Christ-consciousness. This quotation makes this clear. We are seeking unity with all, unity and love. Don’t be fooled into thinking that love is a superficial emotion that everyone says. It means something very different to the Christ-conscious than to others. It means that we know that we are One, that God is One, and that we are joined in love or alienated in fear.

6 – Learning

“But realize, those of you who would mourn this [learning] as a loss, that you have already achieved all that was possible to achieve as an individual. The purpose of individual learning was the return of unity! (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the New, 12.25)”

7 – Ego

Our egoic past has long sought learning as a mean of separating, a means of separation. We are through with this idea, this part of our belief about ourselves that has been the ego. And so don’t lament that the old way of learning has passed.

8 – Observation

We probably do not yet fully understand what it means to go beyond learning. Basically, it means that we aren’t still seeking for salvation in the next spiritual text. We know that we have reached a culmination, of sorts, and we rest easy. We will be told by our Self whatever we need to know from now on. This Self will look out on a changed world, and observe the differences that are seen. This observation will teach us all that we need to know.

9 – Guidance

If this explanation still seems incomprehensible, still wait for guidance to reveal more. Contemplate the ideas from the quotations from today, and know that all that we need to understand will come to us when we give guidance the time and willingness to get through.

10 – Self

The Self will guide.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to do the things today that I think I need to do. Don’t let me get lazy in my spiritual life. I need You always. I don’t survive well, let alone live, when I am turned away from You.

May this day go well, something that I nearly always ask. You know my needs; I am sometimes confused about what they really are. Clarify my Self today. Let me come home to You from time to time for brief moments. The way home sometimes seems long, but I know that You would not have it so. Let me be calm and think of You. This will always take me home, at least for the moments that my mind is quiet.

Amen.

Self-Doubt Is the Only Thing that Will Not Sustain Christ-consciousness

“But I ask you to try to remember to turn to the new rather than the old each time you think you are experiencing uncertainty or lack. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the New, 12.19)

1 – New Thinking

We need to think in new terms, the new way of living that looks to observation rather than the old-fashioned way of assimilating understanding (learning). We may not understand how we can leave learning behind. Don’t fret. The old will fall away when we express willingness to come to know in the new way that Jesus is pointing out.

2 – Sustaining Christ-consciousness

“The only thing that is going to hold you back from your ability to sustain Christ-consciousness is doubt about yourself. You must constantly remember that doubt about yourself is fear, and reject the instinct, so engrained into your singular consciousness, to let doubt of yourself take hold of you. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the New, 12.20)

3 – Doubt

We have not heretofore seen “doubt” as a thing to reject, to gently turn aside. Now we do. Doubt is actually a form of fear that will not get us where we want to go. Doubt of self is engrained in us, and we still may hold this emotion to ourselves with some emphasis. Earlier we learned that to attack, to judge, and to make plans against contingencies to come are all things that will preclude sustaining Christ-consciousness. But are not all these things evidence of self-doubt? If we believed in ourselves, the Self that we want to be, would not these other traits that we lament simply fall away of their own weight?

4 – Being OK

We are OK. Really OK. This is the message that Jesus is giving us over and over in the Treatise on the New. We have walked the pathway; now it is simply up to us to assimilate this understanding. Not to believe that it is too good to be true.

5 – Fear

“To dwell in fear will end your ability to dwell within the love that is Christ-consciousness. As there is no longer any cause for self-doubt there are no reasons for self-doubt. Do not examine yourself for reasons for self-doubt when it arises. The self-centeredness of the final stage of learning is over. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the New, 12.20)

6 – Self-Centeredness

To examine self for reasons for self-doubt is to return to self-centeredness. We need just to walk ahead, knowing that we are alright, that we have prevailed in a new state of being.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to understand this concept of self-doubt. I think that I do hold this idea far more often than You would wish. I want to relinquish the fear that makes self-doubt a plausible emotion to hold. Guide me to do so.

Thank You.

Amen.

We Have Arrived! The Long Journey Is Over.

“You have arrived! The long journey that brought you here is over. (The Treatises of A Course of Love: ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 12.15)”

1 – Jesus

What a marvelous statement from Jesus! And yet it is the highest way of viewing his words. We can still lapse. We can still have moments when we are not the sustained, elevated Self of form. Indeed, the Dialogues themselves are written so that we can travel farther along the journey. There are two levels to A Course of Love, just as there are two levels of A Course in Miracles (the former my interpretation, the latter the interpretation of scholar/writer Kenneth Wapnick).

2 – Struggle

But we do not have to struggle as we have. We can have Heaven on earth. Jesus promises this elsewhere. And may we take him at his word.

3 – Journey without Distance

Remember, from ACIM, that this has been a “journey without distance.” We have always had the potential to be realized, to realize ourselves as Awakened beings. It is only now that this potential is being actualized in more and more of our brothers and sisters, and in ourselves.

4 – An End Point

“This is a necessary end point of your review of your experience here so that you do not continue to advance learned wisdom. Learned wisdom will tell you to work hard. Learned wisdom will tell you that the strong survive, the mighty prevail, the weak shall perish. I attempted to dislodge much of this learned wisdom during my time on Earth and man is still puzzling over the meaning of my words. The time for puzzlement is over. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the New, 12.17)”

5 – Ease Off

We do not have to work so hard any longer! Isn’t this a wonderful reassurance?

6 – Suffering No Longer

“Think and speak no more of the suffering of the past. Spread the joyous news! Tell only joyous stories. Advance the idea of joyous challenges that allow for all the creativity you have put into challenges of the past but without the struggle. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the New, 12.18)”

7 – Joy

If we share only joyous stories, we will live a much happier life, for we will be creating in the real world, leaving illusions behind. We are co-creators of this new world, and Jesus has said that even he does not know what the future will bring. But we can imagine that the future will be bright.

8 – Begin Again

“What could be more invigorating, more challenging, more stimulating to your enrichment, than throwing out the old and beginning again? (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the New, 12.18)”

9 – The New

This is a call to the New, as Jesus has been calling us for all of this treatise. Let us join together in sharing the good news to which we have been exposed. Let us leave behind bewailing forever.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I hope that, in some sense, I have arrived. I recognize the long journey, but the way has sometimes been hard, and I do immediately know what joy lies all around me. Help me to see and feel the joy today.

I ask for Your help as I assimilate the fact of arrival. Help me even to know what “arrival” means. Be with me throughout the day, and help me always to acknowledge Your loving presence.

Amen.

It Is Fine to Rest in Continual Contentment

“During the new time of sharing, there is no ‘next phase’ of learning for you to move on to. There is no reason for you not to exist in continual contentment. Continual contentment will not stunt your growth or prevent you from sharing or from expressing yourself anew. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the New, 12.12)”

1 – Contentment

We do not have constantly to challenge ourselves in going outside our comfort zone—not anymore. We will not lose anything by resting in contentment. Contentment is the natural state of a mind at One with God.

2 – Learning Challenges

“You eagerly awaited each learning challenge in the hopes that it would bring you to the state in which you now abide. (The Treatises of A Course of Love: ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 12.14)”

3 – Reading

This passage echoes a theme of ACOL. We have read, and read, and read so more–and now we must realize that we really do not have to read to come into fuller understanding of God. Of course, in our contemplative time, we may still want to read familiar passages to prompt our reflections and bring us ever closer to the divine spark within. But we do not have to seek new and different readings. We can rest in what we have already read.

4 – Being The Accomplished

We have arrived. What a glorious promise this is!

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Let me rest awhile in the knowledge that You have promised that I have “arrived.” If that is not yet true, may I rest in surety that I will eventually abide where You have promised.

May my contemplative time bring me ever closer to You. May I not be tempted to run hither and yon in an attempt to reach Awakening. You will decide the time, and You make no mistakes.

May I enjoy the contentment that I personally feel right now. Forgiveness is the key, I know. It offers everything that I want. Thank You for guiding me to this knowledge—and it is knowledge, not perception.

Amen.

Stop Learning in Isolation / Choose Sharing in Unity

“All conditions that were intermediary in nature during the time of learning, are, during the time of sharing, naturally converted to direct experiences of sharing. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the New, 12.8)”

1 – This quotation indicates that we will subtly move into sharing, leaving behind learning in isolation and for our egoic selves. We will be sharing with any brothers and sisters with whom we come in contact.

2 – “As long as you continue to invite learning, you will continue to invite the conditions of learning. These are the conditions you have experienced throughout your lifetime and have expressed a willingness to leave behind. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the New, 12.10)”

3 – We will need to watch ourselves, because habit is strong, and we are used to learning. We are not so used to sharing willingly with others. But our observations of our brothers and sisters will provide the “learning” that we need to invite now.

4 – “. . .[B]e vigilant of your thought patterns so that you eradicate the idea of learning in separation and replace it with the idea of sharing in unity. (The Treatises of A Course of Love: ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 12.10)”

5 – Learning in Separation

We did learn in separation, and this explains in part the self-centeredness that we knew in our phase of learning. But when we reach out to our brothers and sisters, we are sharing in unity. And this is the right place to head. Never neglect those individuals to whom we are close. Do not withdraw unto one’s self. This in itself would be enough for the ego to gain another foothold.

6 – Unity and Relationship

“Sharing in unity” is akin to the oft-repeated assertion that in the time of Christ we are to share in “unity and relationship.” “Unity and relationship” are hallmark words in A Course of Love, and they are used so frequently that we may forget exactly what they mean. Basically, these words mean that we are “One in the many” (an interpretation, not stated in ACOL). As One, we are in unity, and in the “many,” we are in relationship to our brothers and sisters.

7 – Creating a New World

Unity and relationship, the One in the many, are the twin ways that we will create in a new world, a world which we inhabit by the sustained, elevated Self of form. This Self of form is the physical form that we know now, but it is moved by revelation from God, direct and normally unmistakable.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to refrain from the learning that separates, instead opting for the sharing in unity that I can experience with my brothers and sisters. Learning, I recognize, is often separating, but I am less clear about sharing with my brothers and sisters. Help me to understand more fully today.

If I make missteps today, please remedy them for me. Not everyone I meet is ready to understand A Course of Love. Help me to offer only what my brother or sister is ready to accept.

Help us to understand why it is so important to leave behind separatist notions of learning. We need to reach out to each other, in a display of unity with each other and with You. Help me to comprehend, to willingly carry out, and to reap the benefits of this change of mind.

Amen.

Jesus: “I Will Respond to You through Direct Communication”

“Today we join together to birth the new. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the New, 12.1)”

1 – New Era

We are heading into a new time in our world, a new era. With Jesus, we are ready to birth the new. He will help; we do not have to feel that we are abandoned.

2 – Dialogue

“From this time on, I will respond to you through direct communication or dialogue rather than through teaching. As with all new means of doing anything, this dialogue must have a starting point. This is it. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the New, 12.2)”

3 – Inner Words

The next book in the combined edition of A Course of Love is the Dialogues. This means that Jesus intends to engage us in a dialogue, and we may suppose that our inner words may reflect what he has to say to us, though he does not make this clear.

4 – Ongoing Dialogue

“This dialogue will, however, be ongoing, and this is your invitation to participate in this dialogue. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the New, 12.4)”

5 – Mistakes

We are to be an equal partner in this dialogue, and we need not hang back or express undue humility in the future. We are The Accomplished, however much we still make mistakes.

6 – Jesus

Jesus will engage us in a dialogue that will tell us how to proceed.

7 – Learning / Unity

“Two changes of enormous proportions are upon you. The first is the end of learning. . .The second is the beginning of sharing in unity. . . . (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the New, 12.5)”

8 – Sharing

We may not yet feel ready to dispense with learning, but we are asked to do so. We are sharing in the One that we are with Jesus and everyone external and internal, including God, Who is internal. We project, of course, as we have known, but we still share, and in the sharing is our destiny writ large.

9 – The All

We are One with the All, and the All is everything. This is the unity with which we are in relationship. The terms, “unity” and “relationship” are used repeatedly in A Course of Love to set us straight.

10 – Surprises

“Take delight in these surprises. Laugh and be joyous. You no longer have a need to figure things out. Surprises cannot be figured out! (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the New, 12.6)”

11 – Analysis

We do not have to analyze anymore. The ego loves to analyze, but we would be best to leave this habit of thought behind, now. Analysis is a way to try to come to understand, but we are embarking on a new future, a future that is independent of the past, and so analysis of the present that builds upon what we learned in the past will have no meaning.

12 – Joy

We are told to laugh and be joyous! Jesus does not take us so seriously, and elsewhere we are told that seriousness (of which we have had much) is of the ego. The new Self does not take Itself seriously, and we will enjoy a happier reality by embodying that better state. We need to relax and be calm. In the calm, we will come to know the new reality; we will be perfectly calm and quiet all the time (from A Course in Miracles). We will not engage in drama. We will know joy, which has its own flights, but we will not engage in meaningless battles of heightened awareness brought on by fear.

13 – Dialogues

“Once these dialogues are sustainable without need of the written word, the written word will be less necessary. (The Treatises of A Course of Love: ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 12.7)”

14 – How Many Times to Read ACOL?

There is a chance that those who have read A Course of Love through once (or even more than once, several times) may feel that it is wrong to go back to these volumes. We may think that we are “learning,” when that has been counseled against.

15 – We Need to Reread ACOL Intensively

I think this is a misreading. While it is true that in the Forty Days and Forty Nights on the mountaintop (from the Dialogues), Jesus says that his intention is not for us to make this journey repeatedly, it is also true that the chapters are dense with meaning. And one or even a few readings will not make them our own. We need actually to memorize some of the words, to keep their pristine glory in our minds.

16 – The Role of Contemplation

How are we to “learn” if it is not through reading? I think that contemplation, a form of meditation, is in order here. Others might call this prayer (though ACIM and ACOL do not discuss prayer very much, probably because it is assumed). God will speak to us through revelation, we are reassured, but there must be a time set aside to receive messages. And this normally comes through contemplative time, though it may also come through chance words spoken by our brothers and sisters. Indeed, anything in our world can be a way to receive God’s revelation. But we must be careful that what we are receiving is actually true guidance from God. There must be a sureness about what we are receiving. And we must also recognize that our egos can reassert themselves and lead us astray when we least desire to be led astray.

17 – Understanding from God

May our understanding rise to knowledge, as God Himself reaches down and blesses us with revelation.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

You know that I have always read much. But I have also contemplated much. I ask for Your guidance about the proper balance of these two ways of coming to knowledge (rather than just perception). You grant the knowledge and the revelation. Let me always be aware of Your presence.

As this year draws to a close, and my reading of ‘Treatise on the New” draws to a close, may I retain the concepts as I move forward in my “journey without distance.”

May this day go smoothly. I know how much I need You, still, and I need You very, very much. I know that You will always manifest Your Presence when I am at all open to hearing You in the silence. May I listen to the silence with great benefit today.

Amen.

Jesus Willingly Resigns as Our Teacher

“Can I teach you to do this? My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, as you once willingly resigned as your own teacher, I now willingly resign as your teacher. In unity there is no need for teachers or for learners. There is need only for the sustainability of Christ-consciousness in which we exist together as creators in unity and relationship. (Treatises of A Course of Love: A Treatise on the New, 11.3)”

1 – Shocking

The first time that we read this quotation from A Course of Love, it may seem very shocking. Why would Jesus cease to be our teacher? What will we do without him? Do we have to be without him?

2 – Jesus

No, we don’t have to be without him. Jesus is inviting us to be co-creators in a sustained elevated Self of form. We are supposed to co-create the world, no longer the egoic world, but a better world, a world worthy of being sustained in our new state of being.

3 – Good News

This is very good news. He is trusting us who are reading A Course of Love to see if we are ready to be co-creators with him. He is perhaps more sure than we are that we are ready. We hang back, fearful of egoic manipulation of our environment. We fear the arrogance of the ego.

4 – Ego

But, if we have been taking ACOL to heart, we have dropped the ego. It is no longer. So we are ready to step up to the plate and assume our mantle of an elevated Self. Be not shy; do so today.

5 – Co-creation

“This is the beginning of our co-creation. . . .No longer regard me as an authority to whom you turn, but as an equal partner in the creation of the future through the sustainability of Christ-consciousness. (Treatises of A Course of Love: A Treatise on the New, 11.5)”

6 – Equal Partner

Can we see Jesus as an equal partner? This surely is too good to be true. Yet Jesus says it, and I believe him. We may still oscillate from elevated Self to something lesser, but the potential of sustainability of the elevated Self is always there.

7 – Calm

Try to remain calm today. I find that telling myself to be “calm” leads to a mellow feeling and a willingness to follow internal guidance. Then I feel forever justified in God’s sight. The oscillations slow and then cease; the elevated Self of form seems to be a reality.

8 – Jesus

Talk to Jesus in your mind. Tell him that you are ready to be a co-creator. Let him tell you what to do next. He will not delay.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I thank You that Jesus shows so much confidence in me. I would be a co-creator with him, and sooner rather than later. Help me to have a good day in Your grace. Help me to reach out to Jesus in my mind, and to develop the same sort of confidence in myself that he has in me.

Be with me today. May I move into the sustainability of Christ-consciousness, keeping my form as a physical being but being transformed into the elevated Self of form.

Thank You.

Amen.

Leave Past Learning in Favor of God’s Revelation

“So how, you might ask, do you quit now, doing what you have so long done? (Treatises of A Course of Love: A Treatise on the New, 10.3)”

1 – Learning

This quotation is about quitting learning. We right now know no other way, but Jesus is recommending in A Course of Love that we quit learning in the traditional sense, and learn through observation of life. In other words, we don’t keep seeking treatises on our religion. We stand firm on what he has been telling us. We learn through revelation from God, the very best way to learn that there is.

2 – Control

Of course, we can’t control what will come through, and this lack of control, to control freaks such as we have been, may be disconcerting. Relax into God’s love, and we will know the right things to say, do, and even what to think. We are not left to our own devices, unless we so will it, and if we so will it, we are asking for the return of the egoic state of consciousness. We don’t want to have this return happen.

3 – God’s Revelation

“Learning has had to do with what is perceived. No longer learning has to do with what is revealed. Learning has had to do with what is unknown. No longer learning has to do with what is and can only be known through revelation. (The Treatises of A Course of Love: ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 10.11)”

4 – Revelation from God

Revelation is only from God (an ACIM tenet). This passage suggests that we have now been made ready to receive God’s revelations, and that we do so by leaving behind our search through learning (unless we choose to continue learning, which is also alright, according to Jesus in ACOL).

5 – The Role of Learning

Many of us enjoy learning and therefore will not readily leave it behind. Teaching and learning are two of the ways that we reach our brothers and sisters. So there are no hard and fast rules in salvation.
6 – Teaching and Learning

Jesus does indicate elsewhere that those who leave learning behind will go on to create. Actually teaching is a form of creation, and so the “teaching and learning” that ACIM describes is not far from the truth. We are reaching our brothers and sisters when we do teach (and learn), and we are also creating a new world through Jesus’s blessing.

7 – Learning through Revelation

Learning through revelation is the easiest and simplest way to learn. It is effortless, and as long as we are open to God, this type of revelation, once we are ready, will come. We do not have to reach for it. But only God can decide when we are ready for revelation. Revelation is only from God to us, never the reverse.
8 – Expression

“Expression of the Self of love in form is not something that can be learned. It is something that can only be lived. This is the time of the fulfillment of the lesson of the birds of the air who neither sow nor reap but sing a song of gladness. (Treatises of A Course of Love: A Treatise on the New, 10.12)”
9 – Self of Love

We cannot study how to “be” in the Self of love. We cannot study how to express love, for love is beyond what can be taught. We wait until we are told what to do, and then we do it.

10 – A Simple Task

It is just that simple.

11 – Leave Learning Behind

“Those of you willing to leave learning behind will create the new. This will not happen through learning but through sharing. (Treatises of A Course of Love: A Treatise on the New, 10.14)”

12 – Love Is Shared

Love is best shared; in fact, love can only be shared. We would like to create the new, as Jesus is encouraging us to do. But we don’t yet know how. And only a little time will solve that lack of knowing.

13 – God

Let God speak to us. He will reveal how and why sharing in love is so important. And he will detail what to do.
14 – Co-creators

“When you build upon what you can learn you build upon the past and create not the future but an extension of the past. You who are called to leave learning behind are called to return to your union and relationship with God wherein you are creators along with God. (Treatises of A Course of Love: A Treatise on the New, 10.14)”

15 – A Sharp Break

Jesus seems to be asking for a sharp break with the past, because building upon the learning of the past only makes what we have always known—egoic pathways—and these will never create a new world.

16 – A Scary Thought

It is scary to think of disengaging from the past, for the past is all that we have known. Previously, learning from the past is what led us into the future. We thought that we would come to understand, and not repeat mistakes, if we learned from what we had been through.

17 – A New Future

We were wrong. The past has taught us badly. And only a sharp break from the past will lead us into a new future. Most of us would welcome a new future, a time of sharing with others under the umbrella of God’s love, under His revelation.

18 – Revelation

Let us ask for revelation today. As the day proceeds, see if we don’t feel a little freer, a little happier, a little more at peace.

19 – Today

This will be God’s revelation to us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I stand ready to receive Your revelation today. May I hold myself in readiness. May the revelation that You wish to bring me come.

Thank You for being there for me, as always. I have not always known that You are there, emotionally, but intellectually I have always known. Help me to “feel” Your presence today.

I ask now to be happier each day, each happier than the one before. This will be because I choose to leave my interest in past learning. I will wait for Your revelation about what I am to say and do. This will free me to love extravagantly. And you would have me love very, very deeply.

Amen.

The Embrace, by Ivor Sowton

I once had the great good fortune to be with Mari Perron, scribe of A Course of Love (ACOL), in a small group setting. As I suppose is natural, the group had questions about the process of receiving ACOL from Jesus and what that was like.

Mari graciously took these questions in stride. But then, as more of these “safe” questions continued, Mari seemed to take charge and volunteered: “But you know a real turning point for me was the chapter entitled “The Embrace.”

The dictation of A Course of Love had seemed a huge challenge at first, but had evened out after the early chapters into much more of a sense of flow. But then gradually efforting seemed to creep back in. By then the developing ACOL was at Chapter 16 or so. After that the chapters in ACOL were increasingly difficult for her, with more sense of tension and strain, like: “I have to do this.” After all, there was by this point a lot of direct instruction from Jesus to us the readers, and certainly also to Mari as the “first receiver”! Perhaps it was becoming more and more daunting, with a sense of a very high bar having been set for our learning.

Then, incredibly, the Voice stopped! The dictation of Jesus to scribe stopped! Mari knew from her relationship with Jesus that the work now called A Course of Love was not over, not complete!

Days of great angst passed. Then weeks with silence from Jesus! Truly a dark night of the Soul! Finally the completely unexpected! Mari was gazing at a beautiful plum on a beautiful plum tree in beautiful sunlight when such a wonderful bursting open of the heart spontaneously exploded forth! The absolutely gorgeous, pivotal chapter 20, “The Embrace,” soon followed, full flow restored!

It may be that we as listeners to Mari’s experiences here have to receive her revelation (for so I believe it truly is) in a way that we can personally access and apply in our own lives. Broadly speaking, we can say that the world became holy for Mari and for us now also, to the extent we can open ourselves to that kind of Union. The Divine was dancing in the surround! The mundane had been redeemed, now clearly seen and felt to be sacred, rather than perceived and felt to be separate from us (ACIM tenets).

And the Divine arms that cradle us in “The Embrace” bring so much needed comfort and reassurance:

This is a call now to move into my embrace and let yourself be comforted. Let the tears fall and the weight of your shoulders rest upon mine. Let me cradle your head against my breast as I stroke your hair and assure you that it will be all right. Realize that this is the whole world, the universe, the all of all in whose embrace you literally exist. Feel the gentleness and the love. Drink in the safety and the rest. Close your eyes and begin to see with an imagination that is beyond thought and words. (20.2)

So if you or I am feeling alienated, alone, frightened and cut off from Grace, let us remember the Embrace and be healed. The Embrace is personal. It can help us where we think we are, as who we think we are at present. This is so necessary, don’t you think?

In my online transpersonal therapy with students of A Course in Miracles (ACIM) and ACOL, (I see the two works as a continuum), I just try to facilitate that opening of personal relationship, that acceptance of the embrace FOR THEMSELVES. That is, the opening will be very personal for them. It will happen the only way it can happen for them—tailor made, you might say. Jesus is the guide in that process. Of course there are other guides, but we who have been drawn to Jesus’ current work in the world through ACIM and ACOL can settle down into discipleship with him personally and grow as much and as fast as is right for us.

But again, the essential message of the Embrace is that it is ours NOW. It’s the open heart in wholeheartedness. Jesus states in ACOL that the heart exists where we assume ourselves to be. So if we assume we live in ego world, frightened and alone, our world will FEEL like that, icy cold and bereft of comfort. But if we find our own way to FEEL the Embrace, then we will feel omnipresent divine love.

In Chapter 9 of the ACIM Manual For Teachers Jesus also reassures us that our own personal training is always highly individualized. Just right for us. Our own path will unfold in a beautiful way for us with his help. Not too fast or too overwhelming. But at the same time we can now always remember and remind ourselves that the Embrace is there for us NOW. As Jesus says “Who could be left out of the Embrace? And who from within the Embrace could be separate and alone? (20.18)

May we all come to feel the Embrace more and more, and more and more make our home there.

Let your heart remember that you are holy and that the world is sacred. (ACOL,C 20.23, pg. 140 in the Combined Version)

Final Learning Needed Turning Inward in Self-centeredness

“Realize that the self-centeredness of the final stage of your learning has been necessary. (Treatises of A Course of Love: A Treatise on the New, 9.7)”

1 – Reassuring

This passage, in talking about our self-centeredness, is reassuring. We probably realize that our search has sometimes removed us from our surroundings, including our brothers and sisters. We need to be ready to return to them, but we are not to discount our self-centeredness as a lamentable aspect of our search. Jesus says that it was necessary.

2 – Understanding

If we had not turned inward, we probably would understand far less than we actually do now. And turning inward naturally turns one to the self. Jesus would have us to reach outward again once the elevated Self of form has been sustained.

3 – Prayer

We do not reach outward always, though, as Jesus himself spent hours in prayer, all alone, when on earth. We will always need a certain degree of inwardness, and sometimes this does become self-centeredness.

4 – To Stay within Ourselves

May we not stay within ourselves if it is at all possible to spend quality time with our loved ones. This is a day to rejoice and be glad that Jesus indeed did come to earth as a physical being.

5 – Leave Learning Behind

“You who have gained so much through your learning and your study and your sharing of the same may find it difficult to leave it behind. A choice made by you to stay with learning rather than to move beyond it would be an understandable choice, but you are needed now. (Treatises of A Course of Love: A Treatise on the New, 9.9)”

6 – Learning

We are all used to learning, and many of us have spent years and years in fairly pleasant surroundings as we learned. We may look back on college or high school as one of the best times of our lives. So, if we think that we want to keep learning, maybe because it is so familiar, Jesus says here that we would make an understandable choice.

7 – Seeking

He wants us, though, to leave learning in the old style behind. That means that we really don’t need to keep seeking and seeking for our religious bearings. We have become, according to Jesus, The Accomplished. We have made progress through taking unto ourselves the tenets of A Course of Love, and now we need to move into creating a new world—not learning about creating, but genuine creating.

8 – The Accomplished

We won’t feel ready for this right away. We won’t feel that we are The Accomplished. We will fear that this is egotism rearing its ugly head once again.

9 – Jesus

Jesus believes that these are false ideas, that we are ready for creating a new world. And he is eager to have us do so.

10 – Guidance

What will we do? How will we create a new world? That will depend upon what our guidance tells us to do. Jesus is not predictive in A Course of Love, says that he won’t be. The new world has yet to be created, and he himself does not have those answers of what we will create. But the elevated Self of form in all of us will usher in a new era, and with that new era, we will be creating a new world.

11 – Bright Future

The future looks bright. We don’t need to hang back out of fear any longer. We don’t have to fear that the ego will come back, as long as we avoid attack, avoid judgment, and cease planning against contingencies to come. Leave fears behind. These are the criteria that we need to sustain the elevated Self of form.

12 – Sooner

May we all do so, sooner rather than later.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for reassuring me that my own, recognized, self-centeredness is not a thing to be lamented and for which to beg forgiveness. We need inwardness, which self-centeredness really is, and we need it to make progress toward the time when we will be free and easy with our brothers and sisters, reaching outward.

If our life situation allows it, today is a time for reaching out to those who have been closest to us. May we forget ourselves today, at least part of the time.

Amen.

Move Out of Becoming Who You Are to Being Who You Are

“But now the time is upon you to leave learned works behind in favor of observation, vision and revelation. Now is the time to leave behind study for imagining, envisioning, and desire. Now is the time to move out of the time of becoming who you are to the time of being who you are. (The Treatises of A Course of Love: ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 9.4)”

1 – Trilogies of Words

Jesus often uses in A Course of Love a trilogy of words that describe what he is trying to get us to do. Here, in this quotation, he uses a couple of trilogies: (1) observation, vision, revelation; and (2) imagining, envisioning, desire. We do need to delve deeply in ACOL to know what Jesus means by these terms, but a superficial reading will still get us some enlightenment.

2 – Revelation / Envisioning

We are not to “learn”; we are to “observe,” and this observation will grant us true vision and insights from revelation from God. Revelation from God will become commonplace in our lives as we walk further along the pathway. We will create true reality by imagining what we would like to have, and we envision this new place, fueled by our desire for something better and different.

3 – “Be”

We need to stop seeking to “become” something more, but simply to fall into our occupied place of “being.” We can “be,” and in this being will come our greatest achievements. They will be great because these achievements are not ego-inspired. We have to stop and think, because “achievement” has normally, for us, been egoic. But there are still things for us to do, though we need “do nothing.” This realization comes to us when we reach enlightenment. We know from our depths that God is not requiring things of us; he simply wants us to rest in His Love.

4 – Salvation

But we will want to do certain things to bring salvation into this world. Yet we are specifically told, and repeatedly, that in A Course of Love we are not called to proselytize. We simply show what we are like, and in the showing do we draw others to ourselves.

5 – Witnessing

This is the best form of witnessing.

6 – Learning

We are constantly encouraged in A Course of Love to leave learning behind. We have sought our way through much reading, frequently. There must come an end to all this seeking, and to realize that we do know. We can still learn, if that is our choice, but most of the time we are bade to let the inner knowing from Christ-consciousness be our guide. We do not always, in this time, pause to reconsider; we do not have so much trouble making decisions. We just move with the knowing that what we imagine, envision, and desire is the right pathway.

7 – A Caveat

There is a caveat to all of this. Many times we may think that we have gone farther along the pathway than we actually have. Then the ego has a field day. The ego can lead us astray when we think that it has actually withered away. The ego is very wily, and it will not easily give up its grip upon us. After all, we have had eons of conditioning. So proceed cautiously. We must be sure that the imagining that we are doing is truly Christ-centered, and not our own little selves that would lead us astray.

8 – Studying?

Imagining and envisioning are much more effortless ways of living than is intense studying. What a relief to know that we do not have to continue seeking, that the Answers have been given us! We can rest in God’s love, and we can live, comfortably and safely, in His arms.
9 – Seeking

I personally believe that A Course of Love was given to us by Jesus to let us know that there is an end to the seeking that our ego would have us continue to take: “seek but do not find” (an ACIM tenet). Let us pray today to have the ego wither away, to be replaced with the knowing that Christ-consciousness affords for us. May we thank God for this new day in our experience.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

There is an Answer to all the problems that we think that we perceive. Actually we have no problems, in Christ’s love, but we often don’t recognize this. May we recognize this today, as we leave behind the time of learning and move into the time of being.

Thank You for always being there for me in all the days of my life. I have not always recognized that You have been there, but I do so recognize it today, My heartfelt gratitude goes out to You.

Be with us today. Help us to have, as always, good days. This request cannot be granted as long as we are overwrought. We need calm, and calm will come when we fulfill the requirements for bringing it to ourselves. I do this by remembering You. Help me to walk through this day in Your shadow.

Amen.

Learning Is Coming to an End, Fast Approaching

“Learning, dear brothers and sisters, does come to an end, and that end is fast approaching. Coming to know through learning will be of the past as soon as Christ-consciousness is sustainable and you begin to come to know through constant revelation of what is. (The Treatises of A Course of Love: ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 8.17)”

1 – Learning

We find this quotation hard to believe. How can learning come to an end? But Jesus is here talking of our seeking for ultimate truth, our desire to know and understand all that we need of salvation. Our seeking days do need to end, even though we have known no other way to be. Even those of us who studied A Course in Miracles often kept seeking; I believe that this result is the reason that Jesus channeled what we are calling a sequel to ACIM, A Course of Love. He knew that we didn’t fully understand, that we had dislodged the ego, but we didn’t seem to know with what to replace it. A Course of Love is the answer to that question. We replace the ego with the unity of the Self, of all Selves, One with God, and One with each other.

2 – Holy Spirit / Christ

This passage explains a little bit of the difference between the time of the Holy Spirit and the time of Christ. In ACIM, written for the time of the Holy Spirit, we are normally conscious of guidance; guidance comes by way of promptings, dreams, visions, an “inner knowing.” In ACOL, the “inner knowing” is in the ascendancy. This is the “constant revelation of what is” mentioned in this passage.
Certainly many of us have experienced resistance in the time of the Holy Spirit to the promptings that come. In the time of Christ, this resistance has melted away because the guidance seems ever more intimate to ourselves. With the Holy Spirit, the guidance can seem to be coming almost from “outside” ourselves, though this is not the case. In the time of inner knowing, the time of Christ, we know internally and recognize that the guidance is internal. Thus there is less conflict.

3 – A Strait Jacket?

Following the Holy Spirit on a constant basis can almost seem, sometimes, as though we were living in a strait jacket. We “must” do what He says. And we feel guilty if we don’t. We feel this resistance because the ego is still strong in us. And the ego has withered away in the time of Christ. We see our own real Will, which is the same as the Will of God (if we are attune to Him), assert itself, and we are glad to follow our own real Will. We do not resist.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I let the ego wither away, so that my guidance is clear. As we move into the time of Christ, may my guidance be always welcomed by me. This will come, of this I am certain.

Help me today to hear the inner Voice with acceptance and joy. Listening to inner guidance is the best way to live, and it will ensure that what comes is the best that is available for me. Of this too I am sure.

Help me to stay calm, without stress so that I have a good day. Always I ask You for a good day. And this happens when I remain open to You. Help me always to remain open to You. Be with me today through all aspects of any communication that I have with another. Let me follow Your Way and in that Way be shown the bliss of true, heartfelt, living.

Amen.

God and We Together Chose Our Rebellion

“Yet your rebellion was not with God, although you came to see it as such. Your rebellion was not allowed, it was mutually chosen. (The Treatises of A Course of Love: ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 8.11)”

1 – Ruth Montgomery

This concept from A Course of Love is at least relatively new; I have not read of it before, but of course there are many New Age writings of which I am unaware. There is a hint of the idea in Ruth Montgomery’s The Search for the Truth. She, an early psychic who received information by automatic writing from “Guides,” says that we were sparks sent out from God, gradually to find our way back. And some went farther than others, and needed more time and help to return. In ACOL, Jesus is saying that our rebellion from God was chosen mutually by Him and us.

2 – God

Certainly this concept makes sense in light of the surrounding passages, most of which are presented in this blog. God is the divine spark within, and our real will is the same as His Will (an ACIM tenet). So God could set the limits on our bent to miscreate, particularly in that we cannot destroy ourselves (and this is the “why” of the limits).

3 – Edgar Cayce

Believing that our rebellion was a way to experience the all, we can see that we are, like Ruth Montgomery’s Guides say, sparks of the divine that were sent out from the Center (a paraphrase, and also a metaphor of the Guides). Some strayed farther than others, and, as Edgar Cayce said, some became entrapped in matter on this earth.

4 – Edgar Cayce, Cont.

Cayce says that these entrapped souls, the Daughters of Men, needed the Sons of Light to save them. So souls, led by Jesus, came to earth to rescue those who could not have risen above matter unless others came to their aid. In a similar fashion, Jesus says in ACIM that he stands at the end, to help us, when we have gone as far as we can toward Awakening. Then God reaches “down” and rescues us; He takes the final step (an ACIM tenet). In ACOL this beatific moment is called “Christ-consciousness.”

5 – Rebellion

“Your rebellion against the constraints of your nature in form thus became part of the pattern of creation because it was the created’s response. It was your response, and since God is both the Creator and the Created, it was God’s response as well. (The Treatises of A Course of Love: A Treatise on the New, 8.12)”

6 – Part of God

Why is this statement, this quotation, true? We are a part of God. It is that simple. So our choice was one of His as well.

7 – The Separation

This wholly benign way of viewing the separation is a blessing to us, another reason that we don’t have to feel guilty anymore. God and we chose the separation, when we were impatient to experience, when we hadn’t learned all that we need to know to live well in form. This lack of understanding produced a warp, so to speak, which we call the ego. And it was the egoic misstep that has caused all of our problems in form in this world.

8 – Elevated Self of Form

Now, seeing the elevated Self of form, will provide the new learning that we needed at the beginning of life in form. We will know how to manipulate our environment for the good only. And we will know how to live in form. No ego. No suffering. No pain.

9 – Enrichment

“What other purpose would God ever have had for wanting to express the Love that is Himself in form, if it were not for the expansion and enrichment it would add to His being? What purpose is behind your own desire to do thus? (The Treatises of A Course of Love: A Treatise on the New, 8.13)”

10 – Form

We want to experience, in form, and with limited vision, what God Himself wants to experience. We and He are in this together. All of us are attached to living in physical form in a way that perhaps angels don’t understand. We like the rough-and-tumble life on earth. We are a courageous sort, as the series of books by Pat Rodegast, scribing Emmanuel, has said. We know what it is to risk a challenge. And we ought not to denounce ourselves for the mistakes that we have made along the way. Mistakes are not over, but we will learn how to turn aside from them and walk another way, a better way.

11 – Ego

“It was only the ego that made this desire seem to be for anything other than the purpose of expansion and enrichment of your being. (The Treatises of A Course of Love: A Treatise on the New, 8.14)”

12 – Satan

Here is the ego again. Yes, the enemy. We used to call it the devil, or Satan. But we are living in new times, and our understanding has greatly increased. We don’t have to personify evil by giving it a name. There is no “sin,” only mistakes. And all will get to Heaven ultimately. We are all children of God, and He neglects nobody. We will be guided home.

13 – God

“God could not be the only being in all of creation who remains static and unchanging! How could this possibly be said of one whose name and identity is synonymous with creation? (The Treatises of A Course of Love: A Treatise on the New, 8.14)”

14 – Truth

There are parts of God that are unchanging, also according to A Course of Love. Truth remains unchanged, the whole truth. But God seems to be growing and changing with his creations, with us. We can know how much our companionship means to God when we know that we are a part of Him. As the Self, we are back in strong communication, communication that was disrupted when we were asleep, when the channels of communication were not open to God.

15 – Lonely

Let us return quickly to the fold. God needs a good day, and if all His children are not communicating with Him, we are told by Jesus that God Himself is lonely.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to assimilate all of these writings about our ultimate reality into a coherent whole. There have been hints before that the separation, though illusory, has had effects that have hurt our little selves. May I leave behind that hurt today; my real Self has not been hurt at all.

May I recognize that, just as God and I chose the separation, together He and I can mend the separation so that we are One again. My real will is the same as His. May I use my real will today to accommodate to God’s Will.

Help me to turn around a difficult day into something much, much better. I need only to acknowledge that a mistake has been made, resolve to drop that behavior from my repertoire of behaviors, and all will be well again. This day can yet become a harbinger of grand and glorious moments learned under God’s Shadow.

Amen.

God “Let Go” when We Proved to Be Rebellious

“Your mind, being of God, was constrained by the learning limits of the body and chose to rebel against the learning that was needed in order to come into the time of fullness of a being able to express itself in form, never realizing that this just delayed the learning that had to occur to release you from the limits you struggled against. (The Treatises of A Course of Love: A Treatise on the New, 8.9)”

1 – No Rebellion?

We could have had the physical form without our rebellion. We hadn’t learned enough, and in the rebellion, we only delayed learning what we needed to know, and caused ourselves much suffering as well. Such a shame. We ought to get it right this time.

2 – Physical Form

We are told in A Course of Love that we can choose physical form for the foreseeable future, on into eternity, if we embody the elevated Self of form, the one who remembers God and chooses to follow in Love’s way.

3 – New Choice

This is a new choice, a new way to be in the universe. Previously, we ignored the ego in the afterlife, but now we can ignore the ego, just let it go, in the physical life that we enjoy in this world. We don’t have to wait for the Other Side.

4 – Celebration

What joy! Now we don’t have to lament that we are in physical form; instead, we can celebrate it! But it is physical form that follows the eternal laws of God and the universe, not a separated form that brings on pain because we have an imprisoned will. God set the limits on how much we could miscreate, and therein lies our salvation. He wouldn’t let us depart too far, knowing that when pain became great enough, we would realize that there must be another way, a better way.

5 – Elevated Self of Form

We have found that better way, here and now, in the elevated Self of form. When we awaken, we will know that following guidance of our innermost Self is the best way to go. We will be in alignment with God once again, and all will truly be well for the first time in eons.

6 – Rebellious Children

“What do you who are parents do with a child who is too impatient, too bright, too eager, to learn slowly and to mature gracefully?. . .What you do is realize the impossibility of imposing your will and, because of this impossibility, you realize that you must let go. Thus your decision was also God’s decision. (The Treatises of A Course of Love: ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 8.10).

7 – Detour into Separation

This detour in separation was thus partly God’s idea. This is a metaphor, for the things of the universe are so far beyond us that we cannot fully understand. But the metaphor works, for many of us have adolescent children and know what rebellion is all about. God did let us go, knowing that He could not change our minds without violating our free will, and free will is all about what co-creators with God will one day need to fulfill our purpose.

8 – Free Will

God knew that He didn’t want to meddle with free will, and so He did allow us to take the detour into fear, thereby necessitating a return by a “journey without distance” (from ACIM). We did not actually separate, for we are a part of God and could not be alive if we actually had separated. And we are alive eternally. But we could imagine that we were separate, and indeed we did this in spades.

9 – Tiny, Mad Idea

What a mess we made of everything by not being more patient and learning our lessons as created beings of God. We needed to learn more before we could embody the physical without danger to ourselves. We entertained a “tiny, mad idea” (from ACIM), not laughing at it instead, and in the forgetting laugh did the tiny, mad idea seem to have effects. Without cause, the effects became illusion, though, illusion that is only just now being undone.

10 – Succinct Quotation

This passage explains succinctly the course that was taken in the separation from God. No further words seem necessary. Let us contemplate the passage, and let God speak to us about what we ought to do now.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I listen today as You guide me Home to you. You know the way; I too often forget even the little that I know. If I was ever rebellious, and tried to run ahead of Your divine plans for me, help me to grow up today and to drop that rebellion. Thank You for this succinct explanation, because all of us who read what Jesus has said can reflect on what we know of adolescents in our society and sometimes in our homes. May we realize that our “rebellion” from You was necessary, even as the adolescents in our society need to rebel in order to come to understand what their identity really is.

Thank You for today’s comprehensive explanation of what happened in the separation. May the separation be healed today, and may I awake to the blessings that You have for me in my restored state. If I am not yet ready for the separation to be healed, may I do nothing that furthers it. May I turn to You for a full healing and Awakening to the glory that You hold out to me.

Amen.

The Swimmer, by Ivor Sowton

Jesus in A Course of Love (ACOL) uses a wonderful metaphor to guide us toward the peace of God–that of a swimmer. A good swimmer has learned how to be relaxed in the water, floating, resting on the currents, going with the flow for sure. But a non-swimmer when plunged into deep water can “try to move in the water as he would on land,, thrashing around, wearing himself out, panicking even.

The swimmer is our true Self. Effortless abiding awareness of the peace of God! One with the surround, only God everywhere.

The non-swimmer is us in our separation confusion. This is the illusory ego self we made in that confusion.
Jesus says we were once effortlessly swimming in the unity of Heaven, but that we have temporarily forgotten how to do that. So we ONCE KNEW how to swim BUT HAVE FORGOTTEN HOW.

Jesus says that’s us–you and me, dear brothers and sisters. We’ve forgotten how to swim! Here is the Master speaking in one of the ACOL “swimming” metaphor references (Second Treatise, 4.6):

A first step in learning how to recognize when you are acting upon notions of who you think you are rather than on who you think you are rather than on who you truly are is the appearance of struggle or resistance. As a swimmer quickly learns, the only way to return to ease of movement is to cease to struggle or resist. The ability to let go of struggle is a learned ability for the swimmer, and it is a learned ability for you now as you journey back to your real Self.

So how do we get back in the flow in our lives as we are experiencing them here? I, for one, often feel that struggle, that resistance. How can I learn to relax and be taught by life effortlessly again? Jesus’ overarching theme in A Course in Miracles (ACIM) is forgiveness. I try to ask myself now when I’m fighting the current “what am I not forgiving right now?”

Often my grievance or lack of forgiveness is then apparent to me right away. One of the original ACIM students and distinguished ACIM teachers is Jerry Jampolsky. He is the author of Love is Letting Go of Fear and many other wonderful, short, pithy books, as well as the founder of the Center for Attitudinal Healing, a center to help people all over the world live forgiveness. He says so often that forgiveness is the whole key to feeling better right away!

We just have to (1). remember the choice or option of forgiveness is always there for us; and (2) be willing to choose it.

Simple, but hard! If we had truly learned that and were always living that, we’d already be in Heaven, I suppose!
This leads easily into a second key, spoken of often in both ACIM and ACOL: the willingness to be taught. When Jesus counsels us to “be willing to resign as our own teacher,” our egos will not be very flattered. That part of us has been for us a trusted adviser for as long as we can remember as our personal selves. But this is a real crossroads in all the great spiritual paths: to finally realize that we really need help from One who knows and who can help us. IF we listen.

Jesus is such a one, and because we find ourselves sincerely studying his teaching, we have indeed taken that first step, albeit falteringly. He can bring us along, can “keep gentle pace with us,” guiding us right here in the mess we often seem to experiencing here, leading us toward permanent relief! He says in the Second Treatise of ACOL ( 13.3), “. . .[T]his is my invitation to you, specifically, to enter into a holy and personal relationship with me, specifically. . . .. I know of this world and I am here to guide you through it.”

So, I, a swimmer who forgot how and am now being reminded how, am being instructed by Jesus on how to ease back into the great waters of unity itself! Jesus says in 4.7, Second Treatise:

The water is not taken for granted but always recognized as a condition of the swimmer’s environment. You are no longer confined to the conditions of separation, my dear brothers and sisters, and this is what it is time for you to learn.

So happy swimming to you!